Water levels in Mario games have always been a source of frustration for players. The slow movement, the need to constantly paddle, and the unpredictable enemy patterns have made water stages the worst part of any Mario game. However, Super Mario Bros. Wonder has managed to change the game with its innovative approach to water levels. The developers of Mario Wonder have taken on the challenge of making water stages enjoyable, and they have succeeded in creating a breakthrough experience.

Redefining Water Stages

Mario Wonder introduces several new features that enhance the gameplay experience. The Wonder effects provide constant surprises, with player shadows and standees visible while playing in the connected mode. Additionally, the game introduces a badge system that allows players to customize their characters’ abilities in each stage. It is through this badge system that the developers of Mario Wonder were able to revolutionize the water stage experience.

The Dolphin Kick Badge

One particular badge, the Dolphin Kick, transforms Mario and his friends into nimble swimmers. With the Dolphin Kick badge, players gain quick, smooth, multidirectional control underwater. This ability is reminiscent of Ecco the Dolphin, but combined with the platforming elements of Mario. Suddenly, water stages are no longer a slow slog but become just as enjoyable as regular stages. Players can now navigate through water with ease, feeling in control and able to speed-run through these stages.

While the Dolphin Kick badge may seem limited in utility since it is only useful within water stages, its inclusion is still noteworthy. It demonstrates the developers’ commitment to providing versatile tools for overcoming stage challenges. The badge system becomes a key feature of Mario Wonder, providing players with a diverse range of abilities that can be tailored to suit their needs. Though water stages may be a narrow example, the Dolphin Kick badge serves as a testament to the overall versatility of the badge system.

The inclusion of the Dolphin Kick badge not only improves players’ control in water stages but also allows for more ambitious enemy patterns, obstacles, and Wonder effects. With the newfound ability to move swiftly and navigate underwater like a pro, players can fully experience the game’s dynamic challenges and feel a sense of accomplishment. The improved movement in water stages enhances the overall gameplay experience and showcases the developers’ attention to detail.

Water Stages in the Grand Scheme

While water stages may not be the highlight of Mario Wonder, they are no longer an annoyance. The game’s expertly designed platforming stages and Wonder effects still shine as the best parts of the game. However, the transformation of water stages from tedious to enjoyable is an achievement unique to Mario Wonder. The developers have succeeded in breaking the tradition of water levels being the weakest aspect of a Mario game, paving the way for future innovations in the genre.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder has managed to turn the tables on water stages and create an enjoyable experience for players. The Dolphin Kick badge introduces a new level of control and fluidity to underwater gameplay, transforming water stages from being the worst part to becoming just as exciting as regular platforming stages. With its innovative approach and attention to detail, Mario Wonder sets a new standard for water levels in platforming games.


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